Most worth-the-work Family Holiday Recipe! Danish Pastry Wreath Recipe

To pull my mom’s leg we joke that the Danish Pastry Wreath is my Aunt’s recipe and it gets my mom going because it was originally a recipe that she found in a 1960’s or 70’s cooking magazine.  The proper credit to the right person for this Danish Wreath is a clue straight off the bat that the Danish is remembered and desired by all of my family members on Christmas.  Admittedly, the Danish takes a couple of days to make unless you want to cram all day long.  Also, it takes a bit of help from a friend with some baking experience if you haven’t done much bread baking in the past, but it’s worth it!
We typically serve the Danish with an egg casserole on Christmas morning.  Enjoy!

Holiday Danish Pastry Wreath Recipe
2 wreaths
Baking time: 30 minutes
*Start early in the day to allow for chilling, rising, and cooling.
  • 1 1/2 c. Blue Bonnet, softened
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 pkgs. dry yeast
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 3/4 c. flour
  • 3/4 c. Zwieback crumbs (can’t find it anymore, we did fine it at Meijers, so we used an Almond Biscotti, crumbled)
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 (8 oz.) can almond paste
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 c. powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp. milk
Beat butter and 1/4 cup flour until smooth and fluffy. Place waxed paper on a large wet baking sheet. On the baking sheet spread butter mixture evenly into a 12×8 inch rectangle. Chill well.Scald milk; add sugar and salt, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.

Combine yeast and water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in milk, egg, and 3 3/4 cups flour; beat until mixture is smooth and leaves side of bowl (dough will be soft). Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Place stockinette cover on rolling pin; flour well. Roll dough to a 12×16 inch rectangle. Fit cold butter mixture over half of dough, leaving a margin at edges; remove waxed paper. Fold dough over butter; pinch edges to seal.

Place fold of dough to the right; roll dough to a 16×8 inch rectangle. (If butter breaks through dough, flour heavily and continue rolling.) Fold rectangle into thirds; pinch edges to seal. Wrap dough in waxed paper; chill 1 hour. Repeat rolling, folding, and sealing process; chill 30 minutes. Repeat rolling, folding and sealing process; wrap dough in aluminum foil and chill 8 hours.

Divide dough into 2 equal portions; chill half of dough. Roll remaining dough into a 22×8 inch rectangle. Cut dough into 3 equal lengthwise strips. Spread 1/3 cup Almond Filling down center of each strip, leaving a 1-inch margin at each end.

Close edges of dough over filling, pinching edges and ends. Take the 3 strips and braid. Join ends by pinching, then join together to form wreath.

Place brown paper on a baking sheet. Carefully transfer braid to baking sheet; form into a wreath with a 6-inch-diameter hole. Join ends of braid; firmly pinch ends to seal.

Cover; let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free of drafts, until doubled in bulk. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Carefully transfer to wire rack to cool (pastry is very fragile, so move gently).

Repeat process with remaining dough. Spread half of glaze over each wreath. Garnish cake with candied cherries if desired. Yield: 2 coffee cakes.

10 comments… add one

    Thank you for the recipe!!! A friend gave me this recipe years ago and I have misplaced it. I have looked for it for a long time.
    It was in McCall Magazine I think?

    Thanks so much!!

  • You’re welcome Teresa. I think you’re right, it was in McCall Magazine. It tastes pretty great!

  • Vince Link

    I remember this recipe my mom made when I was a kid. Been looking for it for a while. Thank you for the time it took you to put this up. My family will appreciate it very soon toon.

  • Hi, I’d like permission to use your photo # 15, above (the right-most photo on bottom photo row, this page) on my recipe website. I currently have it on my Danish Pastry page ( so you can see how I use it. I include a note that I’m currently seeking permission to use the photo, and I site your blog post as the source.

    I sent an email last December, but did not hear back from you.. Please reply.

  • I have the original recipe. It was is the 1974 December McCall’s magazine

  • Sreysokpheap Link


  • Lynne Link

    Wow, did not know this was online! This became our family tradition since 1974, every year. I actually found the magazine again on Ebay because I had thought I had misplaced the recipe. We LOVE this wreath and I am looking forward to making it in a few weeks!!

  • Nancy Patton Link

    My mom had this recipe long before 1974. It was always our Christmas morning ritual

  • Amy Link

    Our family has this exact wreath as well since the 70’s as a family tradition! My mom found it in McCAlls magazine! We have the real recipe laminated and we get together now that we are older and make it together most years before Christmas!

  • Nancy Patton Link

    My family has been making this for 50 years. Instead of using my moms recipe this year I used this one because I like reading off my iPad when I cook. One major omission is in paragraph 2 on mixing the dough. It fails to say what to do with the sugar. I could see how someone might leave it out. In our recipe, you scald the milk and add the sugar and 1 t salt and allow it to cool before adding. Other than that everything is the same. I do make a little extra filling because that is my favorite part!

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